What Must We Do?
Acts2,38: "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." (see also Acts 9, verses 6 and 18- Paul is told by the Lord that he [Paul] will be told what to do- which included getting baptized)
Acts2,41: " So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls."
Acts 2,21 says "that everyone who calls on the NAME of Jesus will be saved."
Likwise Acts 15,17 says even more clearly: "So that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, and all the gentiles over whom my name is called [in baptism!]."
Into whose death and new life were we baptized? (Romans 6,4)
So, beloved of God, water baptism is the usual first step to receiving the better baptism, the promise of the Holy Ghost baptism (Acts 2,39), the promise of the Father (Acts1,4;Luke24,49).
Yes and Amen- but the two baptisms are really one baptism!
This is why 1Corinthians 12,13 says "For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit."
Yes, baptized by one Spirit, not by one water! Not by an institution, but by One Spirit.
Thus, when the bible speaks of the one body, the "church" (Hebrew: "qahal", those called to assemble) and the one Spirit in it, it is always referring back to the important and universal call to the fullness of this one baptism into the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus:
"There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in the one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism." Ephesians4,4-5.
It's time for you to have the name of Jesus called over you in water baptism.
(See also James 2,7 and Isaiah 43,7 and Amos 9,12).
Adult Water Baptism and God's Bible Plan for Salvation
Since we're on the important topic of adult water Baptism in Jesus NAME according to the bible, perhaps it would help to discuss how adult water baptism fits into God's plan of salvation.
Our initial step in salvation comes from the prompting of God's grace and hearing the gospel, unto a new found faith, or choice, for Jesus as Lord and Savior (Romans 5,15 and10,17).
Then comes the public profession of him as the one Lord of our lives (this was not easy in the face of the Roman empire): "That if you confess with you mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." (Romans 10,9)
This initial step of salvation plants the seed of Christ (Galatians 3,16), the Spirit of Christ, in our spirits: "Whoever has been born of God does not sin [refuses to practice sin anymore], for His seed remains in him..." (1John3,9)
1Peter1,23: "Having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever."
At this point Jesus lives in us but we are not completely reborn (John 3,5: born of water and the Spirit).
The seed of Christ in us can die. Mark4,7-9, Hebrews 6.
But take heart, the biblical plan of God is that this seed comes to the Spiritual fullness of life in us.
Why Water Baptism In Jesus NAME So Important?
Adult water Baptism in Jesus NAME, the way of the bible, is important to living the Spiritual fullness of our salvation.
Firstly, our baptism, in faithful obedience to Acts 2,37-38 in Jesus NAME, crucifies our slavery to sin, and actually breaks the ruling power of our flesh nature and remits our sins- wipes our sin slate clean.
This is not a symbolic break or a word game or a partial cleaning. It is an actual victory and break away from our Adam nature and a cosmos ruled by sin:
"...our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin." (Romans 6,6)
A horse still might buck and bray occasionally after it has been broken, but it's already broken, capable of being led.
Adult water baptism is important because it is the actual way that we by faith appropriate Christ's victory over sin. It is the way his victory over sin becomes our victory.
Trusting in infant baptism as the means to end our slavery to sin is likely not biblical, and thus, is a risky addition to God's plan for salvation. Yes, Acts10,24-48; Acts16,15,33; and 1Corinthians1,16 speak of four instances of "household baptisms" but this assumes that these households had infants and that they were baptized. That's a lot to assume when we talking about God!
Back to the scriptures that tell us God's ways concerning water bapptism.
Colossians 2,12: "Buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working [the cosmic power] of God, who raised him from the dead."
Faith and profession can supernaturally plant the seed of salvation. But it is bible based water baptism that applies the cosmic power and victory of the cross, which breaks the cosmic stranglehold our sin nature has on our human nature.
As male circumcision actually sealed and defined one's covenantal entrance into God's first people (removing the excess flesh desire, what Jews call the "covenant of the flesh" according to the Oxford Dictionary of the Jewish Religion), so water baptism (done in personal faith) seals our convenantal entrance into God's final people and orients us to a life guided by God's Spirit and in his Spiritual service. This entrance into the body of Christ is not just a juridical or administrative task. It actually defines our actual Spiritual redemption out of the kingdom of this world ruled by fallen cosmic powers and principalities and world rulers and places in the kingdom of God:
"And you being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all your trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And he has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross having disarmed principalities and powers , he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it." Colossians 12,13-15
No Longer a Slave And Full Of God:
When the bible speaks of the seed of Christ being planted in us, there's got to be some fruit on the way.
This "something more" is baptism in the Holy Spirit- when the shell of this seed breaks, and grows and fructifies and becomes God (who is Spirit, John4,24) living inside our mortal bodies.
Romans 8,23: "We who have the first fruits of the Spirit even we ourselves groan within ourselves eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body."
We're still physical, but the seed now bears fruit in so far as God lives inside us now.
Filled With God By Baptism in Holy Ghost But Still Needing Water Baptism?
Many have heard the famous story of Cornelius, a Roman soldier living in Caesarea, who loved the Jews and was well known for his almsgiving. He got baptized in the Spirit (the promise of the Father, Acts1.4-5) as he listened to the Apostle Peter preach, before he was water baptized (like the Apostle Paul, Acts 9,6,18).
Luke3,16 and Acts1,4-5, and Acts2,38 all suggest, at first glance, that Holy Ghost baptism is more important than any water baptism, and thus we would think that if we have this baptism we might not need water baptism. But the Apostle Peter still baptized Cornelius in water.
This goes back to appropriating the victory of Calvary, and actually changing cosmic teams.
Conclusion: Water Baptism Is a Vital Part of God's Plan of Salvation
Look around the body of Christ today (or look at the folks in Ephesus who had itching ears, 2Timothy4,3).
One doesn't have to look far to see folks who have the baptism in the Spirit, or mayby not, with one foot in the world and one foot in the kingdom.
What is so powerful about biblical adult water baptism is that it addresses, and if done with faith, fixes just this difficulty.
Water baptism is a vital part of God's plan for salvation.
We ignore it at our own risk.
It is not a guarantee of salvation (1John3,14 and 4,3), but along with living by a repentant faith and following our Lord Jesus obediently (Luke9,23), and public profession (Romans 10,9), and baptism in the Spirit (Acts 2,38), it is a threshold milestone of persevering unto judgment (Hebrews12,1; 2Timothy4,7).
It is the usual opening to the fulness of our new covenant of the Spirit with our God (Hebrews10,16).
Finally, we remember that when Jesus was publicly baptized, he was approved from on high and buttressed for his mission, and also revealed as God's Spiritual son (Luke3,22-38).
We too, in our own individual water baptism as an adult, gain something of this same Spiritual approval, strength for our particular mission, and identity and new standing in the kingdom of God.
Acts 9,15: "But the Lord said unto him [Ananias who baptized the apostle Paul in Jesus' NAME, Acts 9,18] 'Go thy way for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my Name before the gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel."
That your people who profess you Jesus, but who haven't been baptized, and all who have been baptized in some way that doesn't meet your bible standards, would seek their full freedom under you Jesus, Lord of all, and ruler of the cosmos, in the NAME of Jesus, we pray.
If you would like baptism in Jesus Name to bear Jesus' NAME to the whole world like the apostle Paul, contact Br. Tobin through this site, or at 203.200.9177
Interested in studying adult water baptism? http://www.zionpentecostmission.com/adult-water-baptism-links.html
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Tobin Hitt is the founder of the Zion Pentecost Mission. He is open to gospel partnership with all, and identifies with Paul's description of our mission as ambassadors for our king, Jesus, urging all to reconcile with God (2Cor.20-21). He resides in Cheshire, Connecticut.read more...